July 5th 2018
The nutrition advice Elle Macpherson always follows at Christmas
December 14th 2018 / 0 comment
Photography by Billie Scheepers
Our columnist reveals how she plans in wellness over the festive period without missing out on fun
December is always a fun and very busy month, with finishing work and lots of social activities. Here is my guide on eating and drinking healthily and generally looking after yourself at this busy time. Because there’s nothing worse than getting to January and feeling toxic.
How I survive December with sanity intact
Because December is so busy, I try to connect with what matters personally - some people do it through yoga, listening to music, or a walk in the park. I like to meditate as part of my morning ritual. I also make sure I drink lots of water (three litres) take my Super Elixir, £96 without fail, and get outside where I live in Miami as much as I can for fresh air and sunshine (or fresh winter air if I’m in the mountains or Europe).
So that the month runs smoothly, I sit down with my diary at the beginning of November and schedule in all our family commitments, followed by business appointments and sports/physical movement/body work etc. For me, it’s just as important to schedule in personal appointments, making time in my diary for what matters to me, as it is to schedule work meetings. Then I add the parties. It's a strategy that has worked well so far!
I’ll then tend to do a raw plant-based detox week towards the end of January to really kick-start the New Year.
December is always busy in Miami as it’s Art Basel, the international art fair and I often have friends visiting from NYC or Europe. It’s a super-kinetic but fun time… plus the weather at this time of year is perfect. Cool, crisp, sunny dry days which are a welcome relief after the hot humid and wet summers.
Party food and drink
If I’m going out, I love a virgin cocktail, especially my favourite mock Mojito made using fresh lime, slices of ginger, soda, lots of ice and a little mint on top. A new recipe we love at WelleCo is the Alkalising Aperitif.
- Mix 3 scoops of Super Elixir with 3 cups of water, pour into an ice tray then freeze.
- Boil hibiscus leaves and ginger with 2 cups of water for 30 minutes and allow to cool.
- Strain leaves out of the tea then add the rest of the water into the tea mixture.
- Serve hibiscus tea with Super Elixir ice cubes, a hint of lemon juice and mint. It’s pretty too.
As far as canapés go, I skip the snacks; they add up and are not that enjoyable – they’ve usually been sitting around for a while too. If I’m giving the party myself, I choose a great champagne to start or a vodka-based cocktail. For non-drinkers, it might be elderflower water. I love a (vegan) cheese and nut plate or tuna tartar on gluten-free toast as canapés.
If there’s a meal, there’ll be a choice between a plant protein, plant pasta pizza or fish/chicken vegetables and salad, accompanied by a great wine (very important). Sometimes we will do a vegan meal depending on the guests. Finally, dessert: I personally love a soufflé and anything dark chocolate.
Fitting in exercise at Christmas
The busier I am, the more important it is to stick to my morning wellness routine, which includes exercise and getting out in the fresh air. I exercise most days, it keeps me grounded, energised and feeling good about myself and what I have going on. Lately, I’ve increased my sessions from 45 minutes every day to one hour in the mornings and often something in the evening – I love to go to yoga or for a walk after dinner.
The advice I always follow on eating at Christmas
My nutritional doctor, Simone Laubscher, gave me some wonderful advice once for the holiday season. If you have a hard time over the holidays, she tells her patients to have four days where they can eat whatever they like. I’m pretty balanced around food but on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, I am even more relaxed about what I eat and then once those days are over I go back to my normal. It’s a great concept because it stops that often inevitable landslide of sugar indulging that can take me to the end of January. This way, the holiday meals don't start overtaking my metabolism. I’ll then tend to do a raw plant-based detox week towards the end of January to really kick-start the New Year.
I have a portable infrared sauna by Thersage and often find myself sitting in it at night as it’s a great way to relax, detox and boost the immune system. Staying on top of my wellness year-round means that I am focused on prevention rather than treating illness. At WelleCo we believe in balancing inner and outer beauty and also endeavour to help people take responsibility for their own wellness by creating products they can trust and that work.
When everyone is reaching for chocolate…
I prefer quality organic 80 per cent cacao chocolate. However, part of my planning process for the holidays is to pre-make some healthy treats – our Nourishing Plant Protein, £48 makes a great base ingredient in chia puddings, smoothie bowls and raw ice cream.
I love this recipe, It’s packed with super greens and beauty vitamins including aloe vera for hydration and healing, and horsetail for silica and collagen building, so it improves skin from the inside out.
Rosy Glow Milk Bowl
2 teaspoons WelleCo Super Elixir Greens
1 ½ cups raspberries
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 ½ cups almond milk
Combine all ingredients and blitz.
The Christmas traditions I really look forward to
I love decorating the tree with the kids. We've collected ornaments from around the world and each of the boys has their favourites. While decorating, we often reminisce about where we found them or which ones they loved as children. My favourites are the funny ones such as a koala on skis or a sparkly New York taxi cab; we have wooden soldiers, like puppets, from England and beautiful globes with pictures of the boys when they were babies. I also still love preparing the Santa sacks. They have one with their name on it and they've had them since they were small. Santa puts them at the end of the bed on Christmas Eve for when they wake up on Christmas morning.
We also celebrate on the evening of the 24th as the boys' dad is French and so we honour this European tradition and combine it with my Aussie sunny Christmas Day lunch.
How I stay sane amid the family madness
We have just launched seven WelleCo Super Boosters that are scientifically formulated with botanical extracts and bioactive nutrients for targeted support. The one I love to take when I need extra energy and balance is Super Booster Women’s Libido + Hormone Support. It is a medicinal blend of herbs and adaptogens that assist with balancing hormones naturally and enhancing energy and libido. It tastes great too – of raspberry juice and peach flesh! I add it to filtered water or if I am in a rush, to my Super Elixir Greens.
I also find eating green, clean and keeping active really helps! I love to spend my daily hour of movement outdoors. Variety keeps it fresh and enjoyable. One day could be bike riding, swimming, surfing, or stand-up paddle boarding and the next might be yoga, running or walking the dogs.
Most importantly, laughter! We laugh a lot as a family and I find it so nourishing. No material gifts replace the joy of being together – I know it sounds corny but it’s true for me and especially as I’ve matured I realise the most important things to me are wellness and love.